So now that you’ve successfully processed your first batch of photos, what’s next? Well, since raw photos can’t be viewed without photo processing software, you’re going to want to export your photos as a regular photo format (such as JPEG or PNG) so you can use the photos.
I usually make another pass through the photos marking the best ones with a blue label at this point, but you can just select the ones you want to export by holding the Command key and clicking the photos you want to export.
Under the “File” menu, choose the “Export” option. This will bring up a dialog box with a bunch of options pertaining to your export.
The first section “Export Location” is where you want Lightroom to put your exported photos. I usually just export to my desktop, but you can be more organized about where you put them.
The next section “File Naming” allows you do define how you want Lightroom to name your files. I usually have it use a custom name followed by a sequence of numbers, so I know exactly what the photos are of. Giving the photos a descriptive custom name also makes it easier to find the photos on your hard drive in the future.
The next applicable section is “File Settings”, which allows you to choose what type of file (JPEG, PNG, etc) you want Lightroom to export your photos as. You can also set the compression level (quality) of the file in this area. The higher the quality, the lower the compression, which means the bigger your file will be. For web use, I usually set the quality at around 65.
The last section I’m going to cover is “Image Sizing”. This is the size and resolution of your output file. For almost anything other than print, you want to output at 72 pixels per inch, and the size will depend on what you want to use it for. For my blog, the content section is 600 pixels wide, so I have Lightroom set the width at 600 pixels and let it automatically figure out the height.
While it’s beyond the scope of this tutorial, I just wanted to point out one last thing. Lightroom has the capability to publish photos directly to web services such as Flickr and Facebook. You can setup your accounts and find all the options for this in the Library tab at the very bottom of the left panel under “Publish Services”.
I hope this tutorial has been helpful! If you have any questions, or future tutorial requests, please leave a comment below.